A summary of information about housing and homelessness – Winter Wellbeing and Fuel Poverty (from Anthony Ball’s newsletter), Council housing demand rising, and people in rent arears increasing – new reports, and Cornwall Council’s information around street homelessness, to protect people from both COVID-19 and the cold this winter.

Winter Wellbeing and fuel poverty

Anthony Ball has shared the following selection of information around fuel poverty, and the Winter Wellbeing campaign.

Winter Wellbeing

Keeping warm is vital for all ages to stay healthy, particularly for those who are more vulnerable to the cold such as older people and those with long term health condition.    One of our top priorities is to reduce fuel poverty and prevent illness and deaths from the cold weather.  This winter is the first winter with coronavirus (COVID-19) circulating, and it’s essential we all do all we can so our communities can stay safe and well and to ensure that the NHS and social care are not overwhelmed.    COVID-19 amplifies cold-related risks and the Winter Wellbeing service 0800 954 1956 can help support actions to prevent harm, particularly to those most vulnerable.   Winter Wellbeing Guides for Cornwall and for Isles of Scilly have been updated and made available on-line only this year, due to COVID-19.

Energy Advice Video

Citizens Advice Cornwall, as part of their Energy Champion work, have put together a short video (with Kernow King) to help clients manage their energy better.  It is part of some funding we have received from Western Power Distribution to provide energy advice, this funding along with our Energy Advice Programme means we do have capacity to provide dedicated advice on managing energy, switching suppliers and ensuring they are claiming all the benefits they are entitled to.   Please view/share through your networks

Big Energy Saving Week

Cornwall Rural Community Charity are  helping those who will struggle to pay their energy bill this winter?    Help them Check, Switch & Save by calling CRCC on 01872 243535 to arrange a call from one of CRCC’s energy saving experts.  #BESW

Winter Fuel Payment Donation

Community Energy Plus is running a campaign to help those in fuel poverty. It encourages those who receive a Winter Fuel Payment that they don’t need to donate some or all of it to a fund to support those in fuel poverty. Anyone else can donate to the campaign too, via the Community Energy Plus website, using Kindlink, which means 100% of the donation will reach the charity.  

Green Homes Grant

Committee invites public accessing Green Homes Grant to offer their views of the scheme via the UK Parliament website – Committees

Health Matters: Cold Weather and COVID-19

The latest edition of Health Matters, PHE’s professional resource, focuses on the effects of cold weather on health, looking at how COVID-19 amplifies cold-related risks and actions that can be taken to prevent harm, particularly to the most vulnerable.

Emergency accommodation for rough sleepers

From the Cornwall Council Town & Parish Council newsletter.

Cornwall Council will continue to ensure that emergency accommodation is available to people who are sleeping rough as winter approaches and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues. 

Each person will be encouraged to work with the Council to agree move-on plans that address not just their housing needs, but the support they need so they don’t end up returning to a life on the streets. 

Additional Next Steps Accommodation funding announced by the Government sees £4.4 million allocated to Cornwall. This means that the Council will be able to provide over 70 homes in locations all over Cornwall to enable people who sleep rough, or are at risk of sleeping rough, to be rehoused in supported, secure, long-term accommodation. 

If you know someone who is homeless or threatened with homelessness, they should contact Cornwall Housing Limited on 0300 1234 161 and ask for the Prevention and Engagement team. There’s also useful information on the Cornwall Housing website. 

If you’re concerned about someone who is sleeping rough, report it through Streetlink by visiting www.streetlink.org.uk or by phoning them on 0300 500 0914. Streetlink will inform the Council’s Outreach Team, who can make contact with the person and offer them help and support to find accommodation. 

Council Housing report

The Local Government Association has published a report ‘Building Post-Pandemic Prosperity‘ calling for more home to be built, boosting the economy, and alleviating the housing crisis. It predicts that the waiting list for Council housing will double, to almost 2m people next year, and the requirement for affordable rental properties is being exacerbated by the economic downturn.

Rent arears increasing

Another report, by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, shows that 2.5 million households worried about paying rent over winter, with 700,000 already in arrears and 350,000 at risk of eviction.

You can read the full report on the JRF website.

The Guardian has a useful report covering both these reports, here.